Senior Policy Associate, Energy Transition

Fresh Energy

Job Type: FTE
Salary Range: $52,900-$66,100
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Job overview and requirements

Are you the type of person who specializes in building policy and technology, especially as it applies to optimizing building energy performance and transitioning buildings off fossil fuels and onto clean, renewable electricity? Do you have a passion for transforming markets at the scale and pace necessary to meeting the climate challenge? Do you have the experience and inclination to complete rigorous analysis, develop strategy, communicate effectively, and advocate to get results? Do you enjoy engaging, influencing, and working collaboratively with a diverse array of people and organizations to drive positive change on climate? If this sounds like you, read on!

Fresh Energy is hiring for a full-time senior policy associate to join our Energy Transition team and focus on building energy performance and decarbonization. We’re looking for someone who is:

  • Knowledgeable about building policy, utility regulation, and/or advocacy issues within the housing, community development, and/or building sector,
  • Dedicated to transforming the buildings market through development, production, and distribution of cost-effective, accessible, carbon-free design and technology solutions,
  • Passionate about clean energy, public policy, and equitable change-making,
  • Motivated to learn and apply new skill sets,
  • Eager to embrace and create opportunities,
  • Competent at navigating multiple decision-making arenas and inspiring diverse stakeholders,
  • Entrepreneurial, with the ability to work well in both technical and political settings, and
  • Results-oriented, in both a team and individual setting.

This position will be located at our office in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota; however, Fresh Energy is currently functioning as a hybrid office with staff working in our office or at home/remotely depending on the position’s function and expectations, team coordination needs, and staff’s preference. To protect the safety of all employees, we are a fully vaccinated and boosted workplace with proof of vaccination required for all staff, guests, and vendors before entering our office.

Fresh Energy is committed to co-creating an inclusive, diverse, and equitable workplace. Our learning continues with our commitment to be an anti-racist organization: https://fresh-energy.org/anti-racism

Our leadership is welcoming and accountable to all communities, customers, partners, vendors including but not limited to individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+, veterans, persons with disabilities, womxn, religiously affiliated, and/or neurodivergent.

Our story

A 30-year leader on energy and climate in Minnesota, Fresh Energy’s mission is to shape and drive bold policy solutions to achieve equitable carbon-neutral economies. Fresh Energy is taking action to decarbonize our electric system; transition our entire economy – including buildings, transportation, and industry – away from fossil fuel; ensure that the transition to clean energy reduces racial and economic disparities; build a shared commitment among interests across the political spectrum; and strengthen public resolve for change.

Fresh Energy has long worked to decarbonize the electric power sector by closing coal plants, restricting the build-out of natural gas plants, and facilitating the deployment of carbon-free renewables like wind and solar. To reduce carbon emissions economy-wide, we are also working to move buildings and other sectors onto clean electricity. We have made important progress, including helping to pass the Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO) Act in 2021, advocating for robust energy efficiency and fuel switching measures in Conservation Improvement Plans filed by investor-owned utilities, working to advance future-proofed residential and commercial building codes, and supporting market development for clean energy solutions like heat pumps.

While awareness of and support for energy efficient, carbon-free, safe and healthy homes and businesses is growing, there is much more work to be done. From 2005-2018, the highest rate of growth in greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota was from the building sector, underpinned by the use of fossil fuels for space heating. Price volatility for natural gas fuels coupled with insufficient weatherization and ventilation create unaffordable utility prices and hazardous indoor air quality. As the needs and opportunities grow to quickly transition to clean energy, Fresh Energy is expanding its staff, creating a great opportunity for a senior policy associate role to support the energy transition, with a specific focus on building energy performance, decarbonization, and market transformation.

Reports to:

Lead Director, Energy Transition

Before you read further, check our video below for an overview of this role!

Essential responsibilities

A. Policy and Programs: support Fresh Energy’s strategic imperative to electrify fossil fuel-dependent sectors of the economy, with a focus on the building sector, coordinating with other staff to 1) track innovations in building design and electrification technology, 2) accelerate market transformation of cost-effective, accessible, carbon-free building design and technology solutions, and 3) advance policies to promote strategic electrification and improvements to building codes, standards, and energy efficiency programs in Minnesota, in consultation with and with guidance from relevant program and department leads.

  • Conduct regulatory, policy, legislative, legal, technical, and financial analysis related to policy proposals, changes, and approaches.
  • Make written and oral presentations to collaborators, utilities, regulators, policy makers, and other stakeholders as part of the Energy Transition department’s outreach and advocacy functions.
  • Hold responsibility for specific elements of Fresh Energy’s buildings work, including identifying opportunities for engaging with stakeholders and policies, accelerating market transformation for building design and technology, advancing energy efficiency strategies, building codes and standards, and demonstration projects that facilitate cost effective, equitable fuel-switching.
  • In collaboration with the Communications department, create and publish reports, white papers, web content, e-newsletters, and other program information. When appropriate, work to optimize media coverage of Energy Transition department goals, activities, and successes; this may include media interviews as well as writing op-ed pieces, and also includes the recruitment and training of effective messengers.
  • Develop expertise and serve as a subject matter specialist, working with strategy and program leads, to ensure that the decarbonization of Minnesota’s building sector reflects the most effective policies and regulatory strategies while also advancing equitable outcomes.
  • Actively identify and implement cross department opportunities to better achieve Fresh Energy’s mission and imperatives through work between or across teams such as Clean Electricity, Public Affairs, Communications, and Energy Access and Equity.
  • Represent Fresh Energy in coalitions and work effectively with environmental justice, health, labor, business, and other key partners.
  • Support the creation and management of the annual budget for the program.

B. Participate in a culture of collaboration and model Fresh Energy’s core values.

  • Model organization core values such as acting with honesty and integrity and acting to advance equity and justice. You can read more about our core values and mission here: https://fresh-energy.org/about-us.
  • Shape and support organization-wide systems such as our culture of fundraising, coaching, and transparency in developing individual and team goals.
  • Exhibit a clear commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and provide leadership in continually advancing Fresh Energy’s commitment to equity and being an anti-racist organization. You can read more here: https://fresh-energy.org/our-commitment-to-diversity-equity-and-inclusion.
  • Work effectively in the context of your immediate team, the broader Fresh Energy team, and with external partners, enhancing collaboration by maintaining good communication, seeking and respecting diverse viewpoints, engendering trust, fulfilling responsibilities, and ensuring that all team members and their contributions are valued.

C. Adaptability in assuming new roles as need arises in line with Fresh Energy’s strategic imperatives.

Job Qualifications

  • Strong background and/or interest in energy and building policy topics including those involving building design/technology, electrification/fuel-switching, regulatory strategy, and policy design.
  • Ability to conduct rigorous information-gathering and compile findings into easily digestible and compelling formats.
  • A learning and growth mindset, with regard to individual skills and experiences and exposure to unfamiliar subjects.
  • Experience engaging, influencing, and working collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders across different interests.
  • Experience and/or readiness to present before regulators, policymakers, utilities, and other key stakeholders.
  • Experience and/or readiness to engage in regulatory, legislative, and administrative proceedings.
  • Planful and results-oriented.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • A graduate degree with 3-4 years of directly relevant experience or a bachelor’s degree with 4-7 years of direct experience in energy, environment, policy, economics, technology, or related fields.
  • Solid computer skills in Windows environment, including MS Office, Adobe, Teams, and Zoom.
  • Self-starter who is able to work independently.
  • Team player who desires working in an environment where working as a team is valued and practiced.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform well in fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings/weekends is required.
  • Persons in this position frequently lift, carry, push and/or pull objects weighing up to 20 pounds.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Starting salary range $52,900 – $66,100 based on experience with opportunity for compensation change based on performance, strategic direction, equity across the organization, and organizational budget.
  • Full-time, exempt position, working 32-40 hours per week. We believe in caring for others at work and at home. Fresh Energy is committed to keeping the workload in alignment with the true hours worked and respecting the space needed to take personal time to care for your wellbeing.
  • 24 days of Personal Time Off (increases each year of employment), 15 paid holidays, and a flexible, family-friendly schedule; plus summer Fridays where the office closes at noon (between Memorial Day and Labor Day).
  • We provide medical and dental plans, additional voluntary vision, short- and long-term disability, life, AD&D insurance, and 5 percent of annual gross salary employer contribution to 403(b) retirement plan starting from the date of hire, with an additional employer contribution up to 3 percent depending on the employee’s contribution.
  • We incentivize transit, biking, and walking, offering a dollar-for-dollar bus pass match, $1 for each trip to and from work by bike or walk, and an indoor bike storage area, as well as gym, and showers available for Fresh Energy staff as part of being a tenant of the Historic Hamm Building. Fresh Energy will also make available its electric vehicle business subscription account for either your personal or business use (HOURCAR and its Evie carshare service).
  • We foster a respectful, collaborative, and fun work environment. Learn more about working at Fresh Energy here: https://fresh-energy.org/our-team/working-at-fresh-energy/.
  • Generous parental leave after one-year of full-time employment. Eligible employees are entitled to up to twelve (12) weeks of leave under this policy; Fresh Energy will pay an eligible employee for the first six (6) weeks of leave with the rest of the leave being unpaid or being paid through the use of Personal Time Off.
  • We promote and sponsor individual and joint professional workshops and trainings.
  • Moving allowance for candidate who are from outside of Minnesota and will move here.
  • An organizational culture that seeks, integrates, and nurtures self-direction, collaboration, diversity, equity, and inclusion with all employees

Our hiring process and timeline

  • We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled; preference will be given to applicants submitting prior to April 14, 2022.
  • Our hiring team will select finalists for an initial 30-minute interview via video conference or over the phone.
  • Finalists will be invited back for a 60-minute second-round interview, also via video conference or phone; at that time, we will ask for three references and two work samples relevant to this position, e.g. a technical paper, a professional writing sample, or other relevant materials.
  • Ideally the selected candidate would begin work in early- to mid-May 2022.
  • Fresh Energy’s Equal Opportunity Employer Policy reflects our commitment to ensure equality, treat everyone with respect, and promote diversity in the workplace.

To apply

  • At your earliest convenience: Please submit a resume and brief (one page) cover letter including where/how you first found out about this job in one PDF to our hiring team at hiringteam@fresh-energy.org. No phone calls, please.
  • We look forward to your application!

Fresh Energy’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Employer Policy reflect our commitment to ensure equality, treat everyone with respect, and promote diversity in the workplace. 

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